Judge: New York ‘Adult Homes’ Violate Americans With Disabilities Act
New York state violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by leaving thousands of people with mental illness in large, segregated facilities resembling the psychiatric hospitals of yesteryear, a judge said Tuesday.
United States District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis said that the 4,300 residents of such facilities were relegated to segregated environments with little hope of interacting with the community around them. Thus, the homes denied these individuals “the opportunity to receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs,” Garaufis said.
Currently, there are 44 so-called adult homes in New York City, 28 of which have over 120 beds each. Disability Advocates, the nonprofit which brought the lawsuit, said that individuals with mental illness should instead be placed in individual apartments or homes where their needs could be better met at similar cost. The state of New York insisted that the current set-up was sufficient.
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However, the judge found the adult homes to be worse in some cases than the state-run psychiatric hospitals they replaced in the 1960s and 1970s. Specifically, Garaufis said residents have limited opportunities to practice the independent living skills they are supposed to be learning.
The judge is now asking the state of New York to submit a “remedial plan” by the middle of October as a step toward remedying the situation, reports The New York Times. To read more click here.